So, yesterday I was shocked to read an article entitled "Evernote, the first dead unicorn". Mind you, any article with the word "dead" in association with a well known company in the title can probably be classified as click bait, but I read the article nonetheless. It talks about how Evernote is trying to be something it isn't, in how it's not growing and how it spreads itself thin, doing a bunch of things but nothing really "right". Here's my take on it.
A few months ago I was like every average person who knew about Evernote, but didn't use the software. I even had a free account with them since 2008, but never took advantage of it. For web clipping, I used Pocket, and for my limited note taking, I used the Apple notes app. However, a few months ago, I purchased a paid PRO subscription from Evernote. What changed?
Well, Evernote has always been described to me as a "note-taking app". And that is where my issue with it was. I don't really take notes. I don't write a lot of things down. I'm not in school anymore, and most of my writing is done in emails, or in my calendar as appointments, or to-dos. When I see something online that I want to check out later, be it an item I may want to purchase, or a recipe that looks yummy, or a how-to instructional article, I just put it in Pocket to access it a later time. For these reasons, Evernote had no place in my workflow - just like the author mentioned in the article above.
Here is how he and I differ: I don't use Evernote as note-taking app. Well, maybe a bit now. But mostly, Evernote has become the most essential piece of software in my paperfree office. You heard that right: I achieved a paper free office, and this was made possible by my trusted Doxie scanner, and Evernote.
A letter comes to me by snail mail. It's a credit card statement. I open the letter, scan the pages, save the scans to Evernote and shred the papers. An email containing some important information arrives. I send the email to Evernote. Inside Evernote, everything that arrives gets placed in my Evernote Inbox. Once a week, or more or less often - depending on how much incoming I have - I go inside my inbox and sort out the items. I can save them with a different name. I tag them with the year, or a different tag, such as "taxes" or "business" or "school", or anything else I can think of. And then I move the file from my inbox to my Filing Cabinet Notebook. Or - if it's the scan of a fun card or a drawing from my son - into the Memories Notebook. I have the choices to subcategorize my notebooks - or just use tags. The beautiful thing about Evernote is that all the scanned or saved documents are searchable. And not just by name or tag. The text inside the document is indexed. It blows my mind how well that works. This means that anything I ever need to find again, I will find again, without any problems.
Evernote gives me tons of storage - 10 Gb of storage per month, accumulative (not total), and that's a LOT of scanned pages. A lot. There is no way I could ever blow that monthly budget. I tried. All my documents are saved onto my computer and in the cloud - which means, my filing cabinet is save from floods, fires and moths.
Evernote helped me transition to a paperless office. For me, Evernote isn't dead. And may have been stagnant for the past 7 years, but it came to live with a vengeance. I now use it for everything: storing documents, clipping websites, taking notes. In fact, I wrote this article in Evernote before posting it to my website. Of course I'm not saying the company will be around for ever. But I have no hesitation to pay another $ 50 next year, when my subscription comes up for renewal. I even spent a few dollars in their merchandise store. My new favourite accent colour is lime green, and I always loved elephants anyway.
If you haven't already, give Evernote a try. While the free account gets you started, its full potential will only be unlocked in the premium tier. Evernote may be a unicorn, but it certainly isn't dead.